It is the most wonderful time of the year. It is NJPW G1 Climax 30 time! The G1 Climax is arguably the most prestigious pro-wrestling tournament in the world. The 30th edition of G1 is filled with some very interesting storylines. During this unique year, we will have Will Ospreay, Kenta, Jay White, Jeff Cobb, and Juice Robinson finally returning to Japan for the first time since the Pandemic began. It will be great to see some of the best in New Japan once again
G1 Climax tournament will have two ten wrestler blocks competing in a very grueling round-robin tournament. The winners of A Block and B Block will compete in the G1 Final on October 18th. Let us take a closer look at a loaded A Block field:
We start with one of the hottest wrestlers in all of New Japan Pro Wrestling. Shingo Takagi has spent most of the post-Pandemic year successfully defending his NEVER Openweight Championship against all challengers. His incredible reign ended against Minoru Suzuki at Jingu Stadium on August 29. Will he be mentally ready for his second appearance in the G1 Climax?
Last year, Takagi earned eight points in his debut tournament appearance. Can he improve on that performance? His final match in the A Block will be against Minoru Suzuki. Will he still be in the running for A Block then or simply be out for revenge?
In 2019, Minoru Suzuki was angry. For the first time since his return to New Japan, he was snubbed from the G1 Climax. He has proceeded to take it out on all of the New Japan roster since this snub last year. He is now the NEVER Openweight Champion and seems ready for the G1 tournament.
Minoru Suzuki is the oldest and most experienced wrestler in the tournament. Can he withstand the grueling schedule over the next two months? With some of his rivals like Kazuchika Okada and Shingo Takagi in his block, it will be fun to watch.
NJPW G1 Climax 30 | A Block
Taichi has been on quite a roll since New Japan’s return from the Pandemic. With a newly found aggressive streak, he and Zack Sabre Jr. won the IWGP Tag Team Championship over Kota Ibushi and Hiroshi Tanahashi at Dominion. They even successfully retained their titles against the same team at Summer Struggle. In his second G1 appearance, can he ride this hot streak to even more success?
Taichi will have a lot of rivals in this A Block. He will have yet another match with Kota Ibushi. Taichi will get another shot at Kazuckia Okada after a tough loss at New Beginning. He even with have a match with his Suzuki-gun stablemate, Minoru Suzuki. With so many interesting match-ups, can Taichi make the next step in the G1?
Jay White has not been back to Japan since the Pandemic began. He has appeared on NJPW Strong in the United States with some major success. But the landscape of New Japan Pro Wrestling and even the Bullet Club has changed dramatically during Jay White’s absence. What will the Switchblade have on his mind going into the G1?
Jay White was the runner-up in last year’s tournament losing to Kota Ibushi. Can he possibly build on that great success? It will be an interesting Block as he battles past rivals like Ibushi, Okada, and even his Bullet Club stablemate Yujiro Takahashi. Will the self-promoted Bullet Club leader be ready to win the G1 in this unique year?
Yujiro Takahashi is in an interesting place. This will be his first G1 Climax appearance in five years. He is also in his seventh overall G1 Climax tournament, can the “Tokyo Pimp” use that experience to cause some havoc in the A Block?
Takahashi has been involved in a bitter feud with Okada over the summer. Despite a lot of cheating, he has been unable to defeat “The Rainmaker”. Will the G1 finally allow him to beat one of the best wrestlers in the world? He will certainly try any trick in the book to pull off the victory.
NJPW G1 Climax 30 | A Block
Kota Ibushi is the defending champion of the G1 Climax. However, he has not had the best year in 2020. He lost to Kazuckia Okada and Jay White on consecutive nights of Wrestle Kingdom in January. Then he lost early in the New Japan Cup to Taichi and proceeded to lose his Tag Team title to Taichi and Sabre Jr. at Dominion. He even lost the tag team rematch at Summer Struggle. It has been a tough few months for Ibushi.
He will have a chance for revenge in the A Block. He will get matches against White, Okada, and Taichi. Can Ibushi salvage a tough 2020 with some G1 magic?
It is the 2nd appearance in the G1 for Cobb. He has been busy feuding with KENTA and the Bullet Club on NJPW Strong in the United States this year. He might have even won the New Japan Cup USA without some major Bullet Club cheating.
It is time for Cobb to return to Japan for the first time since the Pandemic. He is looking to improve on his eight points from 2019. He will have a chance to take out some Bullet Club members in A Block as well.
The G1 Climax winner in 2012 and 2014 is back to attempt to become a rare three-time G1 Champion. Okada is one of the greatest wrestlers in the history of New Japan Pro Wrestling. However, he has had a very unique 2020, to say the least.
After losing the IWGP Heavyweight Champion to Naito at Wrestle Kingdom, he has really been out of the title hunt. He lost the New Japan Cup Final to Evil. He got involved in a major feud with Yujiro Takahashi. And even created the concept of the KOPW title and lost the inaugural title match at Summer Struggle. This is his chance to push aside a unique year and get back into the title hunt yet again.
NJPW G1 Climax 30 | A Block
Will this finally be the breakthrough year for Ishii? One of the best wrestlers in all of New Japan has always put on amazing tournament performances. In his eighth appearance, it seems like he is overdue for some G1 success.
He has a lot of great opponents in the A Block. He has had a great feud with Taichi in the last few months. His very first opponent in this year’s tournament will be Minoru Suzuki. That will be likely the hardest hitting match of the entire tournament and we get to see it on opening night. Ishii will never disappoint.
The Assassin is back in the G1 Climax for the second straight year. He won four matches in 2019 including a big win over Hiroshi Tanahashi. It seems like he was poised for a big year in 2020.
But like everything else, the Pandemic ruined everything. Will Ospreay has only wrestled a few matches since the Pandemic began. Will ring rust play a major factor for Ospreay in the grueling tournament? With so much time off, he will have something to prove. With his skill level, that could make him a very dangerous competitor in A Block.